Q • The stems of my milkweed are protected in little bugs, really should I be concerned?

The insects you are looking at are possibly aphids. They appear in multiple hues, typically eco-friendly, red or brown, are tear-fall shaped and have two distinct tail-like protrusions on their hind aspect.

The sight of insects coating our crops can be unsettling, but aphids are effortlessly controlled. A sharp blast of water with a hose can dislodge them, and the bugs wrestle to return to their perch. A cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol can also be employed to destroy them on get in touch with. Big populations can be sprayed with a horticultural soap or oil. Repeat each individual two to a few times to guarantee smaller populations do not reestablish on their own.

Alternatively, if your plant is unbothered by aphids, basically depart them be. Their existence will aid to attract effective bugs these types of as ladybeetles. Aphids are a veritable buffet for these predators, and small aphid populations can build a lender of purely natural pest handle that will feed on other pests when they clean up your aphids.

Produce to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Middle for Residence Gardening at [email protected] or the Horticulture Respond to Service, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110.